Truck Camper Turnbuckles

Our camper was fitted for a set of turnbuckles for our truck tie downs (from Torklift International). The standard set comprised chains, springs and turn buckles. Both the chains and turn buckles were made from galvanized steel.

The use of these devices included turning the buckles when under load. This rapidly wore them out. The threads started to strip. Ideally I wanted a set of Fastguns but they are not cheap so I decided to make some. Or some which came pretty close. The picture below shows the proof of concept using cheap galvanized steel rod and turnbuckle.

Home made turnbuckle

I tested these to see if they behaved satisfactorily. After a few runs where they showed to be adequate I upgraded to stainless.

This picture shows the basic set that was provided with the camper. Note the springs inside the black cylinders. I will continue to use these. To gain the required 1/8″ gap on the spring between the loop and the barrel of the spring, it is necessary to tighten the turnbuckles when under load. This rapidly caused wear.

I wanted to easily be able to drop and reload the camper as often as desired. It was clear that the Fastguns would be a better option.

After some investigation I purchased a set of Torklift Derringer handles from Amazon.

And some stainless steel 3/8″ rod from Home Depot and some stainless steel turnbuckles from uscargocontrol

Hook & Hook Stainless Steel Turnbuckle T316 Precision Cast - 3/8

Lastly came the necessity for some left hand thread nuts for the LH threaded hook in the turnbuckle. The nuts are used to lock the buckle in position. These came from E-rigging.

This, in association with the existing springs which also came from Torklift made a decent turnbuckle arrangement. The limitation they have over the factory Fastguns is that it is necessary to undo the locking nuts to adjust the length of the buckle when loading. The Fastguns self lock when you close the handle. It is not possible to do this with the arrangement I have because the springs appear to be able to rotate. There is nothing to lock the buckle into position without the locking nuts.